Preston pairs at Partridge lakes

17th April

Today i was back at Partridge lakes fishery for the Preston pairs competition and with 82 anglers attending including lots of partridge regulars  it was always going to be tough competing with them but after my match here on Saturday i was really looking forward to it , although after seeing the results from Sunday it seemed to be going back to winter tactics which after five matches on the bounce it was only to be expected as the fish decided to shut up shop and scratching around for bites more suited my style of fishing .

On arrival at the fishery we was greeted to calm , bright conditions with a cold easterly wind not great for catching f1s but it would be the same for everyone i suppose , after booking on to the match i grabbed a bacon buttie from the on site café before having a walk around covey 1-4 and there was very little in the way of fish showing . For some reason i had been given the job of doing the draw for us both and decided to join the queue early before the draw bags had their pick of the flyers , when it finally came round to my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 29 on covey two for my mate and peg 83 on covey four for me so one good peg and one average peg , with the weights on the previous days match being quite low we set ourselves a target of a 130lb which should give us a top ten finish maybe even scraping into the money positions.

After dropping my mate off i drove round to my home for the next few hours and i have fished this peg a couple of times overs the years with a mixed bag of results as sometimes it can be a match winner other times i have struggled , with the light wind blowing into the corner it did look promising although i had been told that only 20lb came off it the day before so i was a bit undecided on my target weight and i choose to set up the usual rigs ;

Pellet rig at 4ft which was my best depth on my last match here i used it for fishing on the shelf across and in front of the near side reed bed to my right , i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length and i had the usual 014 garbo main line .

Maggot rig at 2ft for fishing tight to the over hanging reeds and i could also use it for fishing shallow , my rig was a 4×10 maggie float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and i had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel rig which i positioned at six meters towards my right and i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six-inch length of 010 garbo .

Margin rig for fishing in front of peg 84 platform and i used a 0.4 MD diamond float with an inch spread bulk starting above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was going to be ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint of corn

1 pint of ground-bait

Small tub of 4+6mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began by feeding half a pot of maggots plus a nugget of ground-bait onto my channel swim which i would repeat every thirty minutes and i then went across onto my four-foot pellet rig , i started off quite negatively by tapping in half a dozen micros then lowered my rig in over the top of it and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication , soon i had my first fish in the net but after that f1 i began missing lots of indications and a change to a 2mm expanders resulted in a couple of small stockies not what i wanted to be catching , i increased the amount that i was feeding by dumping a small kinder pot full of micros to see if i could draw in a better stamp of fish and i also changed my hook bait to a piece of corn , by doing this i managed a couple more big f1s but i was still missing lots of indications and before i knew it the first hour had past with me putting hardly anything into the net .

As i didn’t want to waste any more time catching nothing i picked up my rig for tight to the far bank cover because the couple of lads within eye shot had picked up the odd fish by doing it , i started just like before tapping in some micros then letting my rig fall slowly through it to hopefully grab the attention of any passing fish , but this failed dramatically as thirty minutes past without any success and i would normally have switched swims earlier , but i felt that i needed to be more patient so i could build the peg up although it didn’t seem to be working that well today and a change to corn skin or maggots on the hook only produced gudgeon .

I decided to set up a new swim at six meters towards the bottom of my near slope on my left hand side because this was where i caught best on my last match here and after tapping in some micros i lowered my rig over the top , a couple of feeds later my float shot under as i had foul hooked a big carp which took me on a merry dance before the hook pulled out and understandably this had caused a big disturbance in front of me , the only part of my peg unaffected was my long left hand margin in front of the spare platform i didn’t want to go on it this early in the match but as i had not fed it yet i thought it wouldn’t do any harm , after dumping in a kinder pot full of micros i lowered my rig over the top with a piece of corn on the hook and i began getting the odd indication which i kept missing , strangely a switch to expander resulted in no indications so back on with the corn and i managed a couple of quick f1s before i was back missing bites then i hooked a two ounce stockie .

With two hours of the match gone and i had only five fish in the net you could say things wasnt going to well , i noticed a few bubbles coming up from my channel swim so with nothing to lose i dropped on it and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under which of course i missed but it did sharpen my attention , it was noticeable that i would only get a bite within thirty seconds of my hook bait hitting the deck so i was constantly laying my rig through the water ,by doing this i managed six f1s in a forty minute spell but when things went quite and i caught a couple of perch i decided to put in a big pot of maggots to hopefully get them back into my peg , while it settled i felt it was time to start feeding my spare platform and i kinder potted six pieces of corn plus a nugget of groundbait it didn’t take long before i began getting indications , this time they was proper bites and i began picking up the odd f1 + carp although after a while i had to go a bit shallower almost pushing my rig under the platform

I rotated between my channel swim and long margin putting the odd fish in the net but with forty minutes remaining i choose to concentrate on my spare platform , i also began upping the feed because the pairs match was going to be decided on joint weight and i needed some carp after my poor start to the contest , this turned out to be a major mistake as i attracted to many f1s into the peg and for the rest of the match all i could do was foul hook fish .

The all out sounded calling time on a very frustrating match and after a poor couple of hours at the start i managed to pull it back towards the end but not really quick enough to do any good , when the scales arrived my two nets went a disappointing 38lb but my mate fared a lot better from an average peg catching 77lb which gave us a joint weight of 115lb and i am unsure where this put us overall because they have disappointedly decided not to do a league table .

Well done to all the framers and section winners , i am back at the Cunneries fishery on Saturday to contest the open match because the next round of the teams of three will be starting back soon , thanks for taking the time to read my blog .


Partridge lakes open match

October 1st , peg 86 covey four


After last weekends trip to weston pools for the natural bait festival where i caught 245lb of very hard fighting fish over the two days , so i fancied something different and a nice days fishing catching f1s on pellets at Partridge lakes was what i wanted plus it was only ten miles from home so i could have a bit of a lye in after a hectic week at work . I arrived at the fishery just after eight and as always when i come here i grabbed a bacon buttie before having a chat with a few of the regulars , the temperatures during the week had dropped nearly ten degrees and today it was quite cold with hardly any breeze plus blue skies which wasnt the best conditions to try to catch a net full of f1s so i expected most sections to be won with around sixty pounds , i didn’t mind this to be honest as i prefer fishing Partridge lakes when you have to work for your bites because for some reason i struggle to catch a big weight here . I decided to pick up a couple of pints of maggots in case it turned really tough and after dropping them off at the car i returned to find the draw under way , so joined the queue towards the rear when it came to my turn i pulled out peg 86 on covey four which as most of you know it is a really good area to be in but it was more noted for carp rather than f1s and i borrowed a couple of tins of corn from a lad i know before heading off to my peg .


On arriving at my home for the next few hours i had an overhanging reed bed at eleven meters directly in front , i had another reed bed at the point of the island near peg hundred then an empty platform either side so everything looked really positive especially as i could see a few carp in front of peg 85 and with all this in mind i decided to set up ;

winter wire float

roob float

Four foot rig for directly in front on my top kit and also across to the over hanging reeds i planned on using pellets so i used a 4×14 roob float which had an inch spread bulk above the four inch 010 garbo hook length .

Three foot rig for the reed bed at the point of the island and i used a 4×14 roob float which had an inch spread bulk above the four inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel swim it was only five foot deep so i didnt really expect to catch on it but you always need to set it up on the coveys , i used a 4×12 maggie style float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and a six inch 010 garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru f1 hook attached .

With a few fish showing up in the water i decided to set up a shallow rig but i didnt really expect it to work in the conditions , i used a 0.1 matrix series three float set a foot deep with a four inch 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru f1 hook attached .

Margin swim at the side of the platform of peg 85 in three foot of water and i used a 0.4 matrix series one float with 014 garbo main line which had an 014 garbo hook length attached my hook was a size 14 lwg hook because i was expecting to catch carp and i could also buried it in the corn hookbait .

As you will probably notice all my swims i had plumbed up offered lots of cover from the bright sunshine as i expected the f1s to be away from open water , my bait for the day was ;

2 pints maggots

2 pints micros

2 small tins corn

1 pint of crushed expander groundbait

When the all in sounded i tapped in a nugget of expander on to my top kit line then lowered my rig in over the top , after no indications for five minutes i began throwing a couple of 4mm pellets around my float to try to attract the attention of any passing fish but with no signs in fifteen minutes it was time to change and i picked up my four foot rig then i shipped across to the over hanging reeds then dropped in a ball of expanders before allowing my rig to settle over the top , a few minutes passed before my float dipped and after a short fight up popped a three pound carp not exactly what i wanted but it was a good start .


It took a couple more feeds of micros through a kinder pot before i had my next fish this was also a carp of a similar size to my first and it looked like the f1s didnt want to play ball today , so i had to have a rethink on my feeding and i decided to begin introducing a couple of grains of corn with the micros by doing this resulted in another carp but it was slow going , although with ten pounds in the net after the first hour i felt i was on target for a section winning weight and i decided to put in another swim at the other side of the reeds towards the left of my peg but this time i just fed some corn by rotating between the two swims i kept picking off the odd carp .

The fish where still showing at the side of peg 85 but i didn’t really want to go on it so early in the match instead i went to the point of the island in three foot , i had a quick look with pellets in case their was any f1s present but a bite less ten minutes had me turning it into another carp line although i never had an indication on it maybe the fish were happier in the deeper water , back on the four foot rig and it seemed the fish had deserted me although i was getting the odd line bite and thinking about it after the match i should have pinged some maggots over then tried my shallow rig against the reeds .


With half the contest gone i had no other option but to drop on my margin swim and earlier i had positioned a pole roller towards the left of my peg this should help with hook pulls as i didnt have to guide the fish directly in front of me before netting them , with fish already present on this swim i didnt feel the need to big pot as i felt that it might either scare them off or cause foul hookers so i just kinder potted a few grains of corn then lowered my rig in over the top and i didn’t have to wait too long before my float shot under then i had a nice fight with a mirror carp around 7lb .

I managed a couple more carp in quick succession before they backed off and i decided to risk putting in a small pot of corn in to try to get them feeding again , while it settled i rotated my far bank swims for twenty minutes without even getting a bite so i decided to concentrate my attention to the platform swim for the remaining couple of hours , dropping back onto the margin i began getting line bites but no proper indications and i didn’t feel that corn was not the right bait to be using , so i began kinder potting in maggots then changed my shotting pattern to allow for a slow fall of the double maggot hook bait this worked remarkably well as i managed to hook a carp every time the bait fluttered its way to the deck and i had a really good run of fish .


With the weather warming up as the day progressed i decided to move into the shallower water i continued to kinder pot my maggots at the side of the leg of the platform but brought my rig in about a foot further up the slope , by doing this i kept on putting carp plus the odd f1 into the net but the trouble i had now was the odd fish taking me under the platform especially the f1s although i did manage to extract them from underneath it and apart from the odd big carp which wanted to see peg hundred i didnt lose that many fish up to now .

As the match progressed the fish moved further up the shelf and i ended up following them as soon as line bites began a problem although i was really dicing with death because it gave the fish even more option to bolt under the platform , i lost a couple of rigs and fish but it was the only place i could constantly get bites so i would have to rely on my quick reactions to keep me out of trouble , with just twenty minutes remaining i had an absolute nightmare losing four big carp including a hook pull at the net and i just knew it would cost me because you have to fish a near perfect match if you want to have a chance of framing with the quality of angler in attendance , i had eighty pounds on my clicker and i was sure i was in front of all those anglers within eye shot so i just hoped that i had done enough to win my section .

Surprisingly i had only just packed up my gear when the scales arrived onto my lake so i wouldnt have to wait too long before i knew my fate , as they turned up sixty pounds was winning my lake and both my nets went just over 87lb which was a bit more than i thought , it was enough for me to win the lake and also my section so i had finally ended the run of second-itous at partridge lakes , i had heard that the best weight up to now was 91lb but covey one had not weighed in and this had usually been throwing up some decent weights so i was only expecting to win my section , when i arrived at the cabin i had managed third with another 87lb getting second then 91lb winning and this was my best result here for quite some time so yet again i had a mixture of emotions as just one of my lost carp would have got me the win .


Hopefully i will be heading off to weston pools for one last try before my winter league kicks off and it looks like i will be quite busy with the teams of four at Partridge lakes then the matches at Old hough with the lads i fished with last year .


Partridge lakes , fisho qualifier

June 18th, peg 98 covey four


Today was my last attempt at qualifying for the Fish’O Mania semi final at Cudmore and it was at my local water partridge lakes which is only ten miles away it is used to holding big matches regularly having over eighty on the opens but with it being a two hundred pegger there would always be places where you was going to struggle, after fishing it last weekend I felt that I had a reasonable idea on what was going to work so I just hoped that I could draw on one of the original coveys although these waters have not the best record in this match but it is a place that i am comfortable fishing .

It was a later than usual start for me today and I arrived at the fishery just after eight o’clock which gave me time to grab a bacon buttie before having a chat with a few lads that I knew we was all unsure of which water would through up the winner although ribbon has a tremendous record here in fisho qualifiers , there was also quite a lot of big name anglers knocking about which is nothing new for these contests and before I knew it there was a long line waiting for the draw so it looked like I would be having one of the last picks when it finally came for my turn I pulled out peg 98 on covey four not the best but at least I was in an area which usually holds a few fish mainly carp.


On arriving at my home for the next few hours I was faced with flat calm conditions although there was some fish across in the far-bank reeds I also had a nice mud bank to target and an empty platform to my right which I had been told would be my best area to target, as I began sorting my tackle out I was waiting for someone to get down on peg 97 but nobody ever did which was obviously a bonus, it turned out that there was at least thirty no shows and that was after all the reserves plus walk ins had got on to the match I’m afraid that’s the way this contest seems to be going with majority of the qualifiers not being full, it’s just a shame that they can’t let the match organisers know because not for the first time it made a mockery of the match with some lakes being very tightly pegged and other anglers having up to four empty pegs either side of them it really needs sorting before next year I have my own ideas on how it could be changed but that’s for another blog.

I decided not to over complicate things today so I just set up ;

Margin at the side of 99 platform were after plumbing up I found it to be a touch over two foot so I decide to use a 0.4 joof float and main line was 014 Garbo which had a six-inch length of 012 Garbo my hook was a size 16 lwg.

Top four swim this was positioned just at the bottom of the near slope and I would be feeding it by hand during the session it was nearly five foot deep so I used a 4×12 speedy float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 Garbo and hook length was 012 Garbo.

Mud bank and I expected this to be my main line of attack so after having a good plumb around I was pleased to find a nice flat area tight to the far-bank where it was a touch over a foot , so I used a 0.4 joof float which had a strung out bulk this would give me a nice stable rig helping me keep everything still among all the line bites, my main line was the usual 014 Garbo and my hook length was 012 Garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached.

Shallow I set up two rigs to cover my options one at a foot and the other at two foot both of them were set up the same I used a 0.1 matrix series three float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 014 Garbo main line and I had a four-inch 012 Garbo hook length that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached

Bait for the day was going to be ;

Two pints of 6mm cubed meat

Two pints of casters

One pint of riddled meat

F1 dark groundbait



When the hooter sounded in the distance signalling the start of the match I put in two pots of ground-bait with a hand full of riddled meat onto my mud line and while it settled I tried to see if I could mug a carp shallow among the far-bank reeds, the stems were knocking like mad and i was shoving my floats right in among them but I just couldn’t get an indication even after changing depths plus feeding a dozen casters every few minutes to try to get them competing didn’t work ,so I decided to keep the feed going in but with fish showing on my mudline I was eager to give that a try and after changing rigs I shipped out with a cube of meat on the hook I expected an immediate response all I could manage was a couple of line bites thinking that they might not want meat I changed to double caster but this didn’t work either which was a bit of a head scratcher.

I had been throwing half a dozen cubes on my top four line since the match started and with a few bubbles coming up I decided to re-feed my mud line before giving that swim ago, I didn’t have to wait too long before I began getting indications and after missing a couple I did finally connect with one but my elastic only came out a foot before pinging off then my next one did exactly the same I had made the mistake of upping my elastic because I expected to be catching mainly carp, so I was back rummaging in my holdall for a lighter grade of elastic but it seemed that the disturbance of the lost f1s had unsettled them and bites were now hard to come by and with over an hour of the match gone I was still fish less.


I began loose feeding casters at seven meters towards peg 97 in open water hoping that I might be able to catch a few shallow and while I prepared it I rotated my other swims but another thirty minutes passed without anything to show for it, I couldn’t really wait any longer and decided to see if anything had settled on my caster line but apart from a few missed bites which I think were from small silvers there wasnt a lot happening I really worked hard to try to get them up in the water without success , so I tried my deck rig underneath my loose feed and I have found this to be working really well on waters that allow the mong rig I’m not to sure why maybe they are backing away from the disturbance or just feel safer on the deck but you wouldn’t really be expecting to be fishing this way in the middle of summer as it’s more of a winter method, yet again it got me out of trouble as I finally began to put some fish in the net but after being fishless for nearly two hours my match was almost over as I would struggle to even have a chance for the section so I just tried to enjoy what was left of the day.

I had a little run of six f1s but they just wouldn’t settle for me and I found it best to feed a couple of big pouches of caster then give my meat line a go this seemed to produce a bigger stamp of fish including the odd carp by rotating between the two lines I kept putting the odd fish in the net but they wasnt coming quick enough, I wasnt really going anywhere so I decided to begin feeding my right hand margin at the side of the platform with ground-bait and it didn’t take long before I saw a couple of swirls, this was all the incentive I needed to pick up my margin rig and I pushed it out to the side of peg 99 I didn’t have to wait long before a carp took a liking to my double meat hook bait at nearly four pounds it was a good start , with carp being more predominate in this area I decided to put in a small cupping kit of feed after every fish hoping that this would keep the fish settled and finally it looked like I had done something right as I went on a run of fish mainly carp with the odd big F1 mixed in.


I was beginning to think that I might have a chance of doing a nice weight which after my start to the match I thought was never going to happen and this was when I started to rush things of course this resulted in things going a bit pear-shaped, first I lost a fish under the platform causing me to break my hook length although this gave me the opportunity to up it to an 014 and this gave me the confidence to bully the fish a bit more which made me lose focus as I hit my line when trying to rush one in causing me to trash my rig , for some bizarre reason I decided to put a lighter 0.3 float on the difference was remarkable because the carp were just wafting the rig out-of-the-way and in the last thirty minutes all I could catch was f1s .

The all out soon came it called time on a frustrating match because I had done numerous things wrong and even though i got told before the match that my peg wasnt the best I still feel that with the bit of room I had it was capable of throwing up at least a ton or more for a better angler, so I was very disappointed with my performance to say the least and when the weighman arrived I put just over 65lb on the scales which about forty pounds of that I caught in an hour down the side but you just can’t give anybody a two-hour start and expect to compete.

The lad on peg hundred had just scraped ninety pounds and he also struggled to catch on his mudline having most of his fish from round the side but lost a few carp too which probably cost him a chance of framing so it showed there was fish in the area ,as it turned out peg 85 won the lake with a low ton caught yet again from the margin although he had the benefit of what ever breeze there was blowing his way for the past few days causing a nice scum line and I later found out he had five empty pegs to his right plus the lad to his left packed up after an hour.

On arriving back to the cabin to watch the presentation most lakes had fished ok with nearly all the lakes having produced over a hundred pound , three of the top five weights coming from covey six including the winner although yet again he had the benefit of plenty room which made a mockery of the competition of course he still needed to catch them having over forty pounds on the second place angler and as the results were read out I also found out that there was lots of split sections including mine with me being in with covey six which I thought was a bit strange because i can not remember it being done like that in previous years but was probably down to the increase in attendance .

Well that’s my last Fish’O over and done with for another year I have only had one poor match at herronbrook where I drew shocking but the other two at the oaks and here at partridge I felt that I have drawn ok caught a few fish, I haven’t got much planned until September and next weekend i will be heading to the impressive Weston pools hoping to get back among the hard fighting barbel.



Partridge lakes open match

DSC_0106Covey four peg 83,       June 5th

With my up and coming Fish’O qualifier at Partridge lakes looming large on the horizon plus the fact that I haven’t fished my local big match water in nearly two months I thought I had better go and see how it was fishing, I had been for a walk round the coveys the previous Sunday to see the weigh in and have a chat with a couple of the regulars so, I felt reasonably prepared for this weekends double-header. As the fishery is only ten miles away I had the privilege of an extra couple of hours in bed and I arrived at the venue with plenty time to grab a buttie before having a chat with a few friendly faces. It was soon time to join the queue for the draw when it came for my turn I pulled out peg 83 on covey four which was somewhere that I had fished before doing reasonably well on a Maver match this qualifier the previous year managing nearly a ton and as you would expect from me it was a good draw but this covey hadn’t really done much in the previous few weeks.

On arriving at my home for the next few hours I was pretty pleased at what I saw as I had a nice mud-bank between a big bed of reeds, I also had a bit of room towards my right and especially towards my left where I had an empty platform that is never in on the open match so it holds a lot of resident carp especially when the wind is blowing into it although today it was flat calm, with the weather leading up to today being quite warm I decided to keep things simple and decided not to set up any rigs deeper than three-foot these were ;

Mud-line across, on plumbing up I found 18 inches of water and decided to use a positive 0.4 joof float which had a bulk above the three-inch hook length because I would be fishing pellets on this line.

In front of far-bank reed bed and right hand margin, I found a couple of flat spots in front of the reeds in just under three-foot of water and as I would be using maggots I decided to use a 4×10 maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern.

Margin swim left hand side, I had a nice cut out on my top three just before the overhanging tree where it was around 1.5ft deep and I used an 0.4 matrix series three float, I stepped up on my lines hooks and elastic on this rig because I expected to be catching some carp from here.

Shallow rigs one at two foot the other a foot, I used an 0.1 matrix series three float on both of them with a bulk shotting pattern above the hook length.

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of maggots

Two pints of micros

Two pints of ground-bait

Small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded in the distance I began my match by shipping across to the mud-bank and I tapped in a small kinder pot full of micros then, lowered my rig in among it before keeping it really still above the feed, I didn’t have to wait long before my first indication which resulted in an f1 just over a pound hitting the net ( not a bad start ) I then had a run of line bites and I had to keep repositioning my rig from what I heard all the other anglers near me were suffering the same fate, I think I persevered on this swim a lot longer than anyone else with only a couple more fish to show for it ( mistake number one ) it was only when I saw the lad to my left begin catching in the margin that I decided to start feeding mine and while I waited for it to settle. I went on my shallow line where I had fired in a dozen maggots every couple of minutes, I had seen a few fish under the surface so I expected a good response and that I did but from the wrong species because I just couldn’t get through the small silvers (they where really doing my head in ) the only proper bite I had snapped my hook length because my rig had wrapped over my dacron connector when I was slapping my rig.

I decided to up my loose feed on my shallow swim with there being so many silvers present and I hoped by doing this it would encourage more f1s+ide in to the peg, while I was doing this I gave my margins a try first up was my left hand side but not even a liner in 15 minutes so I swapped to the other side where I had flicked a few maggots this also failed to produce in a similar amount of time ( things were looking bleak ) As the rain started for the first time I decided to go back onto my mud-line because it was the only area that I had caught any fish from and I hoped that the extra feed had settled them down a bit, I caught a carp about four pound almost straight away which came in like a wet sack but ten minutes past without even a liner and with the rain steadily increasing I felt that the fish might have dropped a bit further down the shelf so I picked up my 3ft rig then began pinging a few maggots near the far-bank reeds but this also failed to produce.

With nearly half the match gone I had just three fish in the net ( awful ) I went back on my six meter line to see what response the heavier feeding had got and instead of their being lots of fish shallow I was faced with fizzing, so with nothing to lose I got of my box and set up a deck rig this was the last thing I expected to be doing in the middle of summer with temps in the high teens but strangely it worked as I had ten descent f1s in a forty minute spell, I did have to work at how I fed the swim changing from loose feeding to using a big kinder pot and when I started getting liners-foul hookers I would put in half a cupping kit to nail them back on the deck. I was just thinking that I had got it sorted when the heavens opened it resembled fishing in a shower at times this slowed the bites right down and the only fish I could catch where small stockies until the rain relented but it never really got back going again, I had a quick plumb up at the side of the left hand platform but at 13m it would be a bit awkward to fish it without moving my rollers and before I did that I decided to see if there was any fish lurking around it, I tapped in a kinder pot full of maggots then lowered my rig in over the top holding it tight as it would allow for a slow drop of the hook bait no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under a sharp lift towards the margin had the fish running into open water and after guiding it round in front of me up popped another carp about four pound. I managed a little run of fish from this swim and they was all of a good stamp but I was missing lots of bites which might have been liners ( think the 0.2 maggie float was too light ) I was on the verge of changing for a heavier float which would help me keep the rig still when my elastic shot out of the pole and I had my work cut out landing this one as it nearly had me under my nets, when I finally had it under control up came another carp this time hooked in the tail and my rig was totally ruined so with only twenty minutes remaining I had to spend it back on my channel line this produced three more f1s before the all out sounded.

So that was my first match back at Partridge lakes in a while and as you can see I was a bit rusty, not changing lines quick enough or working out that the fish wanted to be in the deeper water which, in the conditions was only to be expected. I ended up with 25 fish for just short of 55lb and over three-quarters of it was caught in the last two hours as you can see it was a good stamp but this was only good enough for third in the section getting beat by Daz Shaw on peg 85 who had 90lb mainly on worm from the margin and Mick Reed on peg 79 who had 80lb fishing pellets down the edge.

Hopefully I will be back for another try tomorrow so don’t forget to come back and see how things panned out.


Partridge lakes , Maver match this qualifier

July 18th , Covey four peg 83


Well today was my last chance to fish a big qualifier this year and to be totally honest i wasn’t feeling it due to illness but having paid for the ticket in January i just had to give it a go , i found out through social media the day before the contest that there was 86 anglers due to take part in the match these would be spread over nine lakes Covet 1-6 , Spey , Marsh and Ribbon this would allow us a lot more room than on the normal open matches where a similar amount of anglers would be just on coveys 1-5 and with this in mind i expected some big weights ( i took three nets just in case )

The weather recently had been a bit indifferent with one day it being warm+sunny the next cloudy+rainy ( well it is summer after all ) we had some heavy rain overnight but on the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry with blue skies although a bit breezy , on arriving at the venue i had a quick catch up with a few of my mates that i hadn’t seen for a while and joined the queue there was a smattering of big name anglers but not too many of the Partridge regulars who had no doubt gone to see how Connor Barlow gets on in the Fishomania final at Arena lakes Cudmore .


When it came for my turn to choose their wasnt that many left in the bag but i still managed to find a flyer with peg 83 covey four sticking to my hand and on an open match i would have been more than happy with it but on the big contests the coveys don’t have a good record although with all the room today you just never know , as i arrived at my home for the next few hours in front of me was flat calm with the strong wind blowing down both sides of Covey four and this could give me a problem because all the recent framing weights had been caught shallow with a ripple obviously being an advantage allowing the fish to settle better .

With this in mind i decided to set up ;

Shallow 1ft-2ft-3ft , 0.2 drennan AS3 float with 012 matrix line with a size 20 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was orange matrix .

Margin, 0.4 ruddy float with 016 Matrix line and an 014 matrix hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .

Far-bank , 0.3 joof float with 014 Matrix main line and a 012 matrix hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .


Partridge lakes has a strict six pint limit so i took with me ;

3 pints red and white maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

1/2 kilo of ground-bait

I was ready well before the 11am all in it was around this time i started feeling rough again no doubt down to the tablets wearing off and tackling all my tackle to the peg , as i had done all the hard work getting ready i had the easy part of fishing the match so i hopped my illness would settle down a bit as the day progressed and as the hooter sounded i shipped out to the far-bank where i had early found three flat areas when i plumbed up .After tapping in some 4mm feed pellets i lowered my rig in among it but five minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected so i brought my rig in and re-fed , this time my float had only just settled when my elastic shot out it didn’t take long before a small carp hit the net and i managed another four of them in a forty minutes spell but strangely no f1s.


All the time i had catapulted in a dozen maggots towards my left as close to the ripple as i was allowed and with the lads on both sides of me catching well shallow i decided to follow suit as my far-bank line wasnt really producing how i would like plus if i was going to catch a good weight of fish i would need to get them lined up in the water although for some strange reason i can’t get that method to work on Partridge lakes , with there not being many fish topping in the area i started on my deepest rig and i would go shallower if i began missing bites or foul hooking fish . I kept firing in a few maggots before laying my rig in through them but even though i had fed this line for nearly an hour i didn’t get any indications which wasn’t the response i had hoped for , i tried feeding heavier and changing for a shallower rig but all this produced was the odd Ide there was lots of bubbles coming up from the deck which was a sure sign that most of the maggots weren’t getting eaten on the way down and i hadn’t set up a channel rig up because i felt that the water was too warm for it too work .

I kept on feeding shallow while i went back to my far-bank swim and by working the three areas i had earlier plumbed up i managed to catch a few big f1s but with just over half the match gone i was contemplating packing up early as i was beginning to feel sick and burning up , i decided to put three cups of ground-bait plus one of corn onto my margin and if it didn’t work i would be off home i left it to settle for twenty minutes so i re tried shallow but yet again this only produced a few Ide somewhere quite big although not what i wanted to be catching .


My first try on my margin swim gave me an indication straight away which lifted my spirits and it didn’t take long before my first proper bite this resulted in a carp of around 4lb , the next hour passed in a flash with a big f1 or carp hitting the net every five minutes when the swim started to die on me i just feed with another cup of ground-bait plus corn and i might have drawn in too many fish because i began foul hooking a couple of them which resulted in broken hook lengths or trashed rigs . It took me awhile to get my new rig to work properly ( how often does that happen exactly same float but does not sit the same ) and settle my swim down ,but by going a lot tighter to the bank i began catching again although they was now f1s rather than carp but as the all out sounded i just had time to net a nice mirror , i was kicking myself for not trying my margin sooner because i had a few fish lined up and they definitely wanted to be there with the wind blowing into it but rightly or wrongly i felt that i needed to catch shallow to get a big weight .


I had 36  fish on my clicker and reckoned that would get me around 70lb but i would have a long time to find out as i was the last to weigh in on Covey four , Jon Arthur to my right had caught well all day putting 180lb on the scales which is a top weight from that peg and there was plenty weights around the ton mark before they arrived at my peg and 102lb was winning my section , my first net went 48lb which was more than i had thought and I’m usually good at splitting my fish so i figured i might have a chance for the ton but my second net only went 41lb and i ended up just under 90lb and second in section again . As per usual for on here i fished half a good match and couldn’t get them shallow but i should have known the lack of ripple would have worked against me , if i had concentrated on my margin or even set up a swim in front of empty peg 84 i could have caught a lot more but i doubt that by doing it i would have won because Spey had a 215lb weight then another 200lb from Covey three and in fact their was twenty weights over the ton out of the 84 anglers here today plus i had my best weight from Partridge lakes and my second big 80lb of the year .

After the match it took me awhile to pack up my gear as i was physically drained so i will be having a rest for the next few weeks until i can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me starting with some blood tests at the doctors , but i hope that my next outing will be at Weston pools the first Sunday in August .